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For inquiries related to South Dakota Mines Research, contact:

Research Affairs

South Dakota Mines
501 E. St. Joseph Street
Suite 102, O'Harra Building
Rapid City, SD  57701

(605) 394-2493

Research@Mines

Research@Mines

Research at Mines happens every day of the year, involves faculty and students at every academic level, and frequently includes collaboration across the state, the nation and the globe.

High Impact Hardrocker: Frank Aplan

Frank Aplan, one of the most influential leaders of the mineral processing industry and academia for the past 60 years. He was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at The Pennsylvania State University.

An Appreciation by Douglas W. Fuerstenau and Raja V. Raman

Frank Fulton Aplan graduated from South Dakota Mines in 1948 with a degree in metallurgical engineering and went on to become one of the most influential leaders of the mineral processing industry and academia for the past 60 years. Aplan, was who was also a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at The Pennsylvania State University, passed away peacefully at Berwick, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. His association with the mineral engineering profession had many dimensions – an engineer, a scientist, a manager of research, and a teacher to name a few, and his performance in each of these roles, simply outstanding.  Most of all, Frank was an outstanding human being, brilliant, dedicated, gritty, hardworking and demanding. He expected excellence from himself, and from everyone else. All his friends have learned many lessons to accept and deal with adversity from Frank's four difficult but successful campaigns against cancer. He was a warm and friendly person who assuredly provided wise counsel and a helping hand.  Frank often said that “no man is an island. There is a half dozen or more people that probably helped you along career. I guess that my philosophy is that often you cannot pay back but you can pay forward…. that is why I've gone out of my way to recommend all kinds of people for awards and honors and so forth and I try to give generously to cha...

Last Edited 4/27/2021 02:54:27 PM [Comments (0)]

Women in Science & Technology I: Making History

Ada Lovelace, Lady Jane Franklin and Rachel Carson are three women in STEM who helped make history.

Women have made many important and fascinating contributions to science and technology. When asked to name a woman scientist, however, too often the only woman people can think of is Marie Curie. She is of course a very important part of women’s history in science, but she’s only one of many women influencing science and engineering!

To celebrate Women’s History Month and help kick off the STS blog, this is the first of three posts about women in science & technology who are not Marie Curie. For this series, members of our STS faculty have chosen women in science and technology – both historical and contemporary – who they think are worth our attention. In this post, we share three women in science and technology who helped make history.

Ada Lovelace – selected by Erica Haugtvedt

Ada Lovelace wrote arguably the first computer program for Charles Babbage’s hypothetical mechanical computer, the “analytical engine.” She was the only legitimate daughter of George Gordon, Lord Byron, the famous Romantic poet, peer, and politician. Lovelace’s parents separated when she was an infant; the estrangement was bitter. Lovelace’s mother, herself considered a youthful prodigy in mathematics, committed herself to educating Lovelace in mathematics and science as an antidote against Byron’s poetic influence. Lovelace, however, remained attached to the legacy of her father and would not only name he...

Last Edited 3/23/2021 09:37:55 PM [Comments (0)]

Research Developed at South Dakota Mines Could Lead to Cure for Osteoarthritis

South Dakota Mines Ph.D. student Ram Saraswat works on research being done to help find a cure for osteoarthritis. The research has led to the creation of the company CellField Technologies.

RAPID CITY, SD (Feb. 2, 2021) — A South Dakota Mines research team has developed technology – and established a subsequent startup company – that could be a key to finding a cure for osteoarthritis. 

Scott Wood, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the NanoScience and NanoEngineering Program, and Ph.D. student Ram Saraswat lead the research and development of the nanoscience technology now utilized by their startup, CellField Technologies. “We’re excited about the potential future of the technology and the company,” Wood says. “We hope it will be a gamechanger in osteoarthritis research.”   

Osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. Most often it occurs in the hands, hips and knees. Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage within a joint begins to break down, causing pain, stiffness and swelling. More than 32.5 million adults in the United States suffer from osteoarthritis, and current treatments offer little more than temporary pain control, Wood says. 

Wood says that for hundreds of years, doctors have considered osteoarthritis a “wear and tear disease, but we know now that it’s more complicated … It’s actually an imbalance of the behavior of the cells in the joint.”

Wood says CellField’s t...

Last Edited 2/2/2021 06:21:34 PM [Comments (0)]

University Epidemiologists Debunk Myths Related to COVID-19 Vaccine

Two epidemiologists at South Dakota Mines, Elizabeth Racz, Ph.D., MPH (left) and Christine Mathews, Ph.D., MPH, (right) say myths circulating online about the COVID-19 vaccine may reduce the number of people who get vaccinated which could prolong the pandemic.

Epidemiologists at South Dakota Mines say misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine currently circulating on the internet may frighten some people away from becoming inoculated. 

Dr. Elizabeth Racz, MPH, says falsehoods include the accusation that corners were cut in development of this vaccine. “On the contrary,” Racz says. “The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to grant the emergency use authorization for the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was based on scientific data. The process was made a priority — as vaccine development goes it was definitely done quickly, but not sloppily.”

Racz adds that there is no evidence to substantiate internet rumors. She says fetal stem cells were not used in COVID-19 vaccine or its development. The vaccine will not cause infertility and won’t change DNA. “The vaccine helps your body recognize and respond to the virus. The vaccine teaches your immune system. Once your immune system has learned to detect the virus it can act more quickly and accurately to eliminate it. Your immune system also has ‘memory’ cells. These specialized cells remember how to protect you from the disease in the future — in this case COVID-19,” Racz says. 

Dr. Christine Mathews, MPH, explains that the mRNA vaccine cannot give anyone COVID-19. “mRNA, like DNA, is a nucleic acid found in all living cells. DNA is located in the nucleus of the cell and contains all the instructions necessary for making proteins in the body. Howe...
Last Edited 1/26/2021 03:03:10 PM [Comments (0)]